Historic Pointe-Claire windmill repair caught up in red tape
MONTREAL -- Damaged in a storm almost two years ago, an agreement to repair the Pointe-Claire windmill is almost finalized.
The windmill and the land it sits on belong to the Archdiocese of Montreal, which means the city of Pointe-Claire has no access to it.
"We’ve come very close at coming to an agreement where we can have access on the property and we can put city funds into preserving the windmill," Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere said.
There’s been discussions about repairing the windmill for years, but nothing ever materialized.
The Pointe-Claire Historical Society is not convinced a deal is any closer.
"Two years ago we met with the mayor at city hall and we had discussed at that point contacting the Ministry of Culture," said Andrew Swidzinski, the organization’s president. "At the time, he told us not to do anything because an agreement was imminent and that was two years ago."
The Archdiocese of Montreal says it’s in the process of studying the matter.
The windmill is classified historical by the Quebec government and the City of Pointe-Claire passed a resolution this week in hopes the government will step in.
"If you’re going to put a designation on something and then you’re not going to do anything about it, in my opinion why do you designate it a historical site?" Belvedere said. "If you’re going to designate it historical, it’s because you want to protect it. Then, give everybody the tools to do what we have to do to take care of it."
Quebec’s culture and communications ministry said financial aid programs are available to help out property owners.
Belvedere wants to see work begin before the winter.
"The windmill is not going to fall down tomorrow," he said. "But the more it deteriorates, the more costly it's going to be to fix."